Top Gear Thursday: Top Gear Magazine’s Journalistic Coup

The cover of this month’s Top Gear magazine.

The editor of Top Gear magazine has test driven the ultra-swanky Aston Martin One-77 and lived to tell about it.

And he tells all about it, as he pulls off this considerable auto journalism coup in the magazine’s new issue.

Why is it such a big deal? Not only is the One-77 one of the world’s most expensive (£1.2 million/$1.8 million) and exclusive (only 77 were made) cars, but the car’s manufacturer has issued guidelines to owners to enforce its exclusivity.

“Since Aston first revealed the One-77 at the Geneva motor show in 2009, it has remained something of an automotive enigma,” writes Top Gear editor-in-chief Charlie Turner. “To date, no journalist in the world has managed to get behind the wheel of a One-77, following an edict from Dr. Bez that only owners would ever experience the car from the driver’s seat.”

But the magazine didn’t take no for an answer, and the result is this month’s story.

Click here to look at the magazine’s exclusive video.

• You probably know that Jeremy Clarkson is an author – but did you know that he’s a phenomenally successful one? His book, The World According to Jeremy Clarkson, which sold 1.49 million copies, is No. 35 on the list of the UK’s all-time bestsellers. According to the Nielsen Bookscan list, Clarkson’s book is also the No. 1 seller in the non-fiction humor category. (The Guardian)

• It’s August. It’s record-breaking hot this summer. What better way to cool off than to watch the famed Top Gear Polar Special, which airs Monday August 20, 9pm/8c. It’ll be like drinking your lemonade with extra ice cubes. The boys are on a race to the North Pole.

The race continues in part two of the excerpts:

And here’s part three:

James May sighting: this week, Captain Slow visited a town called Boston in the county of Lincolnshire, where his visit thrilled the staff of a pub called The Mill.

“He was really, really, down to Earth and polite, The Mill’s manager Becci Reeson told the Boston Standard. “He wasn’t bothered when we asked for a photograph and autograph, which we got him to do on a menu. He said the evening was lovely and thanked us all.”

James May with the staff of The Mill in Boston, Lincolnshire (Boston Standard)

The paper pointed out that May tweeted the reason for his trip to the Mill:

James May@MrJamesMay I have to ride in the crew van this afternoon so I’m going to the pub to dull my nerves. #BloodyRockHardSuspension #MurderedUpVan

• Car Town, the automotive Facebook game, now includes a Top Gear section, where players can go to a garage to see cars that have been on the show. Gamers can also access TV screens in a virtual “studio” to watch video clips of the cars. The first three to be featured are the 1984 Toyota “Indestructible Hilux” pickup truck, Jeremy Clarkson’s Mazda MX-5 from the Middle East Special, and the 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. “Dozens” more cars are promised to be added regularly. (AllFacebook.com)

• In next week’s episode of the American version of Top Gear, the question at hand is: “Small cars work in the rest of the world but will they ever work here?” The show’s three hosts, Rutledge Wood, Tanner Foust and Adam Ferrara, travel to Louisiana, where, among other things, they see how various mini-cars do on New Orleans’ narrow streets. Last week, in the first episode of the third season, which airs on the History channel, the hosts tried to find a worthy successor to the Crown Vic, car of choice for many police departments.

Rutledge Wood on assignment? (Jalopnik)

• Top Gear USA’s host Adam Ferrara posted the above photo of co-host Rutledge Wood on Jalopnik, along with this text: “On an upcoming episode of Top Gear we travel to the Pacific Northwest and solve the mystery of Bigfoot. Some say the more dangerous ones are myopic and wear plaid.”

• And finally, Top Gear is showcasing some amazing crash footage. In the first clip, which the site calls “the best save you’ll ever see,” the amazing thing is that a crash was averted by some skillful driving at a rally in Poland.

In the second clip, the amazing thing is that the driver and co-driver suffered only minor injuries after driving off the edge of a curve in the road, named “the Devil’s Playground,” on Pike’s Peak during a recent race there.

Top Gear points out that a similar spill happened at exactly the same place last year:

Third amazing thing: the driver of that car walked away from the crash.